Zak is back from his last mission, carrying with him the knowledge that he will never be the same again, struggling with the fact that he has changed since becoming Agent 21 and he is not 100% sure what to do with that knowledge. Knowing that decisions are made in the heat of battle is one thing, but experiencing those tough decisions first hand has made it more real fro Zak - and especially hard lesson when the person who tried to kill him was someone he considered a friend, a valuable lesson not to get too close to the people you are using to get close to your target. Zak has learned a lot, but he still has some harsh lessons to learn.
When a bomb explodes on an early morning train, killing dozens of people it seems like an isolated terrorist plot, but it appears that there was a warning - but no one took it seriously. Locked up in a high security mental health facility is a teenaged wonder kid who has annoyed the heck out of the Americans by hacking into government computers, an act that painted a target on his back. When the mission to get him out of the hospital goes terribly wrong Zak and the team find themselves in a race against time to stop more bombs, racing against time to figure out where the next bomb will be. The potential for carnage is high, and when Zak, Gabs, and Raf cross paths with the bomber they paint a huge target on their backs - and the bomber has plans that he will protect at all cost.
Agent 21 is a fast paced series that takes you on a high octane race against time as Zak Darke works against the clock to stop the bad guys - living in isolation with his Guardian Angels to hone his body and mind into the perfect spy, ready to step in at a moments notice. One of the things I like most about this series is that it is well written, and doesn't try to be too smart. The action and adventure is what drives the story forward, and while there is a smart idea behind the story, the book is not written as high brow literature where you need a dictionary beside you to figure out what they are talking about - it is a very accessible read for readers of lots of different reading levels.
Finding really good series for boys can be difficult, but Chris Ryan has carved out a nice niche market for himself in the action/adventure/teen spy market with his series Agent 21, Code Red and his Alpha Force. I love the fast paced action, and this series has really appealed to my nephew who likes reading books about the armed forces, spies, and action. This is not a series for younger readers of the Cherub series by Robert Muchamore, but older teens who have enjoyed the last few books in the Cherub series may also enjoy Agent 21.
If you like this book then try:
- Agent 21 by Chris Ryan
- Agent 21: Reloaded by Chris Ryan
- Boy soldier by Andy McNab
- Catch the Zolt by Phillip Gwynne
- Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz
- Lost worlds by Andrew Lane
- People's republic by Robert Muchamore
- Subject Seven by James A. Moore
- Code Red: Battleground by Chris Ryan
- Death cloud by Andrew Lane
Reviewed by Brilla